To some people, kids are almost as unwelcoming as snakes on a plane. Most people want to avoid them if possible! If you have been traveling on a plane for any length of time, you know what I mean.
The whole journey can feel like shepherding a herd of wild animals. The experience becomes worse when the kids are bored as well as relentless in their young minds.
How many times have you been sitting on a crowded airplane and the person beside you has a screaming kid that just won’t quiet down? I know for me it’s been far too many.
This causes huge amounts of stress for the parents and everyone else on board. It can cause chaos and make for a horrible flight experience.
However, getting on a flight with kids is something that can’t be avoided just like changing diapers. Notably, calming kids down and having a stress-free air trip can be complete rocket science sometimes, however, this should not worry you because, in this article, we’ve compiled a definitive list of tried as well tasted tips and strategies to help you have the best experience with your kids.
As parents, it is important to learn these tips as you will want to have the most relaxed and stress – free flight as possible.
This guide will help you gear up for stress-free air travel with your kids, and it will specifically be broken down into three sections:
- Tips and strategies while traveling with toddlers
- Traveling with 2-year old kids
- Traveling with kids in general
Tips and Strategies for a Stress-Free Air Travel with Toddlers
Nothing that strikes fear into the hearts of a toddler’s parent like the idea of air traveling with toddlers and this can be attested by flight attendants. Parents get tensed up on how to handle their toddlers during this experience; fortunately, this article provides an inclusive guideline on how to handle such a situation.
1. Do your Homework.
This is actually the very first stem as well most important step towards achieving a stress-free air travel with your toddler. For starters, you need to choose the best and toddler-friendly airline since not all airlines are created equal to be kid-friendly.
As you choose your airline, it’s important to be aware of the travel styles as well sort of amenities and services offered by that airline that are necessary for the comfort of your toddler. This can be achieved by visiting the websites of different airlines, asking questions, searching forums. Find out if they charge extra in the company of a toddler to avoid surprises.
An important thing to mention here is if you plan to bring a stroller for your child, know that there are certain strollers that are better than others for air travel. Not all will be airline approved and accepted. Read about the best strollers for air travel that are convenient and lightweight here.
Upon ensuring that everything to do with the airline is on set, the next thing that you are expected to do is to know your child at a more personal level. You need to study the behaviors and tendencies of your kid since its most likely whatever the kid does or embrace at home is what they will embrace as well do once they are on the plane.
If you know your child’s behavior, for example, they may love playing with specific toys make sure you carry them with you as you travel. Providing they are safe and allowed on board the plane.
2. Pack Light
This might sound like the last thing you should consider but its actually among the crucial things that should be considered.
Packing light is the only way that you will be able to maintain your sanity when it comes to air travels with kids and most especially toddlers since more attention is needed on them and less on your language.
It’s important to shred things that are not necessary for you to carry around while traveling and instead pack only the necessary stuff that you need. If they are not needed on the plane, don’t bring them!
Some of the things that you can buy on arrival such as wipes, diapers, snacks as well formula don’t pack them and that way you will be relieved of stress and have some peace of mind to focus on your kid.
3. Arrive and Fly Early
These two things are also very important because you don’t want to arrive late, have a hard time with the normal security protocol and having your flight delayed.
You need to make early arrangements and to arrive at the airport on time thus giving you some cushion for security since your luggage will have small things such as toys and this can cause the need for a second screening.
Additionally, arriving late means that you have less time to settle and this can be mitigated by simply arriving early.
On the other hand, it’s also important that we take an early flight since it eliminates an awkward time schedule for you and your child. If you are anxious about air traveling this will help eliminate pre-travel anxiety.
Early in the morning is also the best time when toddlers are in their best mood since they just woke up and they are not tired already. There is a good chance that your toddler will have a nap once you get to the airport and get settled on the flight.
4. Feed Your Toddler
It’s quite apparent that toddlers get hungry often and for that its important that you feed them as soon as you see a sign of them been hungry since our number one strategy was to know your toddler’s behavior and that is inclusive of eating habits.
Toys and games won’t always keep them away from been troublesome but feeding them is guaranteed to make the whole experience better. It’s important to keep their stomach full.
5. Never Lose Your Sense of Humor
The truth is, toddlers are going to do toddler things regardless if they are on a plane or not. They might barf all over themselves often, they could cry for two hours straight and do many more things that make us stressed while on a plane. However, it’s highly advised that while air traveling to maintain our sense of humor and keep the child happy to easily influence your toddler’s mood. This will go al long way to making the whole experience a success.
6. Adjust Your Expectations
While flying with toddlers it’s important to prepare yourself towards adjusting expectations since toddlers can be really difficult to deal with.
Be ready to take up the challenge when it comes up. At times the toddler might get sick due to change of the environment since their bodies are not always able to adopt a given environment in a blink of an eye.
Do some research on the possible outcomes and have a plan ready to mitigate the issue. Understand that flying with a toddler on a plane can be very frustrating and you should go with those expectations in mind. Rarely is it a walk in the park where everything goes smoothly 100% of the time.
Tips and Strategies for a Stress-Free Air Travel with a 2-Year Old
Just as the guide for toddlers, it’s important that you understand that a 2-year old will also need a certain amount of attention just as a toddler does. Know that the attention here is more of neutralized since the kid is developed in some type of way.
At least it gets a little bit easier with a 2-Year old when flying; however; the tips and strategies below will make the experience even much better.
1. Do Your Homework
For starters, this is always the very first thing you need to do to ensure that you enjoy a stress-free flight with your kids and most especially your 2-Year old.
Normally airlines vary in charges as well as regulations regarding kids on a flight, and for that, you need to do your homework on what is expected of you before you are caught up by surprises.
Again, it’s also at this phase where you are expected to pay extra attention to two things. Know your kid at a more personal level and to check the seats you pick.
Doing some homework on your kids means studying your kids’ behavior while traveling so as to know what to expect and identify better ways of mitigating the issue. Lastly, it’s highly advisable that while picking the seats to avoid the seats along the aisle for the 2-year old since there will be traffic up and down the aisle. Not to mention the food carts with hot beverages and meals. The window seats are best.
2. Allow the Kids to Pack for Themselves and Pack Extra Necessities
The deal behind allowing them packing for themselves is to help them pick their play-perfect travel toys that will provide maximum entertainment.
Additionally, it’s important that you cross check for extra small toys to avoid losing them. Also, make sure to pack extra items that are necessary and convenient. The odds are that your 2-year old might spill some juice or even food on the clothes they’re wearing since they are naturally jumpy and all over the place. You will need an extra change of clothing in this case.
3. Stock Up on the Snacks
At this age, your kid is expected to have an extra appetite, and they are normally all about snacks! You really don’t want your 2-Year old to get hungry on the plane and have nothing to eat. The snacks the airlines provide can be less than attractive! It is best to pack your own snacks that your child actually prefers.
Airlines will generally have no issues with you bringing snacks on board. You will want to look into the regulations for going through security with liquids and certain foods ahead of time. You can always buy snacks and beverages once you pass through security if they are available.
4. Observe Flight Etiquette
Parents should ensure that their 2-Year old maintain the highest level of etiquette the best you can since at this stage they tend to be picky which can highly interrupt the peace and smoothness of the flight.
I know how difficult that can be but we try the best we can.
At times, the presence of kids might draw some glare to some passengers due to their unruly behavior. It’s true that the kids have a right to air travel. However, not all passengers are polite about it and it can be very bothersome to them.
It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their kids are in the best of their behavior. Additionally, Parents should ensure that they observe simple etiquette like changing diapers which should be done in the washrooms, not treating flight attendants like baby sitters, keeping your kids away from the aisle and the list goes on and on.
5. Bring with you Some Electronics and Non-Electronics Games
These two are essential since, for instance, electronics such as video games and apps will highly help keep your 2-Year old busy and occupied. On the other hand, non-electronics such as toys and puzzles will help them a bit occupied and highly distracted!
If you are looking for some airplane friendly games and electronics for your child, I recommend the Fire HD Tablet.
Tips and Strategies for a Stress-Free Air Travel with Kids in General
This is the easiest part of them all since we are not talking about toddlers or 2-year olds but kids in general. The whole experience becomes easier since at this age you can talk to your child and have better communication on how to behave on the flight.
Hopefully, they will listen to you and even if they don’t put everything you say in practice, most times it will lead to a better air travel experience.
The following tips and strategies will make your air travel stress-free and more enjoyable.
1. Choose the Right Flight
This is normally inclusive of doing your homework regarding your airline’s fees as well as rules and regulations for children. I would still recommend that you book for a morning flight since these are the most favorable flights to have kids on board since during this time they are energized and fresh, thus making your flight more bearable.
2. Dress Your Kids Comfortably
It’s important that you dress them is such a way they will feel comfortable especially for the few hours you will be on the plane with them.
Wearing comfortable clothes will go along way in making them feel good throughout the flight and as a result, they will be more likely to have better behavior.
It’s also important to consider those clothes that will be easy to change and make adjustments if you need to add and reduce layers without interrupting their peace. The temperature in the plane might be constantly adjusting requiring you to make changes to what they are wearing.
Therefore, dressing the kids in adjustable layers will definitely make things a bit easier.
3. Prep Your Kids Early
This is also another must do item on your list. It’s important to prepare your kids early and talk to them about air travel and what to expect.
It’s in this phase where you should also advise them on how to behave on the plane and hopefully during the actual flight, you will have little less drama to deal with.
4. Pick the Safest Seats
Just as with your 2-Year old, sitting in an aisle seat is not ideal. There will be people moving up and down the aisle, flight attendants will be moving carts and your child won’t know when to tuck their arms in to avoid getting hit by accident.
Have you ever had your elbow hit by one of those carts? I have and it’s not pleasant! So for this to happen to a child, would be not a good situation. It is best to have them seated away from the aisle they will be much safer there.
5. Pack Your Carry-On Bags Wisely
Your carry-ons are your greatest tools to entertain your kids in air travel. This means you need to pack them wisely in relevance to what you need before the flight during as well after the air travel. Start with the must have in order of their priority all the way to what you least need.
Remember not to over pack as this will lead to more frustration. Only pack the necessities plus anything extra your child will need while on board. Things you may need when no longer on the plane can be picked up from your checked in luggage or purchased later.
Here is a great video explaining some of these tips plus a few others!
I won’t sugarcoat it but traveling around with toddlers can be a bit tough. However, there are things you can do to help things go much smoother. Some people have great success in traveling with young children on a plane. I think those situations are few and far between but it does happen. Perhaps now you will be one of them!
Hopefully, this guide helps make your air travel more bearable with your toddler, 2-Year old as well as your kids in general.
As always feel free to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts. We would love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!